Which pricey German track toy will emerge victorious?
Limited to just 1,000 examples, the BMW M4 CSL is the Bavarian automaker's idea of a Porsche 911 GT3 rival. While it's a remarkable machine, can the BMW match Zuffenhausen's finest around a track? Well, there's only one way to find out and, happily, Germany's Auto Sport magazine has got the answer.
Both track-focused motorcars were sent around the Hockenheim Circuit, piloted by the same expert driver, Christian Gebhardt. The Porsche goes first and displays incredible finesse around the technical circuit. The flat-six wails as the engine charges toward its 9,000 rpm redline. Gebhardt wrestles the steering wheel to keep the 911 GT3 composed, and the vehicle responds well, seemingly dancing through corners with ease.
The combination of lightning-quick gearchanges, wonderful handling, and 502 horsepower results in a lap time of 1:47.3.
So, what about the M4 CSL? On paper, it seems that the 911 GT3 has this in the bag. The BMW is heavier (3,640 lbs vs. the PDK-equipped GT3's 3,382 lbs), but it does have more power - 41 additional ponies, to be exact.
Sadly, the horsepower advantage can't make up for the extra weight, and the rare Bimmer crosses the line at 1:50.1. That's nearly three seconds slower than the Porsche and, on a racetrack, that's an eternity. Still, the M4 CSL can be proud as it managed to beat the 911 Carrera 4 GTS (1:53.3) and the standard M4 Competition xDrive (1:53.9).
BMW fans will be disappointed but, frankly, this doesn't come as a surprise. The M4 CSL was thrashed by the smaller Cayman GT4 RS recently. At the Nevers Magny-Cours Club circuit in France, the BMW posted a lap time of 1:20.10 and the Porsche managed to complete the same lap in 1:19.13.
The M4 CSL does, however, claw some points back in an old-fashioned drag race. Here, the Porsche's crash diet is no match for its 543-horsepower rival, and the BMW simply pulls away from the GT3 with ease. It seems, though, that around a track, the sharpest tool in the track weapon shed remains the Porsche. But, knowing BMW, something even more extreme may arrive to give Porsche another run for its money.